Lydia, 30, had acne during most of her teenage years, but she suffered from adult acne from the age of 25. Her skin got worse last year, when she was 29, and so she knew it was time to do something about it.
Lydia spoke to Express.co.uk about how acne affected the way she lived her life, having a “huge impact” on her mental health.
She said: “Having acne as an adult is extremely tough to deal with.
“When my acne was severe, I struggled a lot with my self-confidence and I felt low a lot of the time.
“I tried to avoid mirrors as I hated looking at my skin and definitely became less social because I didn’t want to go out and have other people looking at my acne.
Something that hugely helped Lydia during this time was being a part of the “skincare and acne community online”.
“I started to chat to other people with acne and this helped me massively, especially to feel less alone,” she said.
“I then created my own Instagram page (@theacnepharmacist) to help others with their skin and document my journey with acne.”
Lydia explained she has tried “almost everything” to treat her skin condition, saying: “I have been on the pill as a teen, tried antibiotics and topical treatments like benzoyl peroxide, but none of these particularly helped me.
Since finishing her course of isotretinoin in June last year, Lydia’s skin is “generally clear”.
“I have some scarring and hyperpigmentation left over from the acne but now this doesn’t bother me as I am grateful for my skin and have learnt to love it how it is,” she said.
“No skin is perfect and the scars just show I have been on a journey.
“I do also have some pitted scars, but overall my skin is much smoother and softer than it was before.”
Lydia went on to explain that she spends a lot more time looking after her skin now with “a good skincare routine”.
She said: “I love using the Science of Skin range as it’s formulated by dermatologists.
“I regularly use the Cleanser which contains salicylic acid, and the Rescue cream which I use to help fade my acne scars.”
Lydia’s mental health has “improved massively” since last year “from a combination of clearing my acne and also the support of the skincare community”.
“I have so much more confidence in myself and will now go out with no make-up on without thinking twice which was something I never could do before,” she explained.
“I am so much happier now too, and feel like I enjoy life so much more.”
The pharmacist added: “Acne has also led me to develop a passion for skincare and raising awareness of acne, because it a condition which is so common, especially in adults, but it can feel so isolating.
“I want to help others on their skin journey know they are not alone, and help raise people’s confidence because everyone deserves to feel good in their own skin.”